Author + information
- Received June 16, 1992
- Revision received February 22, 1993
- Accepted February 24, 1993
- Published online September 1, 1993.
- Ron M. Oren, MD,
- Maleah Grover-McKay, MD, FACC,
- William Stanford, MD, FACC and
- Robert M. Weiss, MD∗
- ↵∗Address for correspondence: Robert M. Weiss, MD, Department of Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Division, University of Iowa, E 317A General Hospital, Iowa City, Iowa 52242.
Objectives. The purpose of this study was to determine the accuracy of cine computed tomography in the diagnosis of constrictive pericarditis.
Background. Constrictive pericarditis is characterized by abnormalities of both cardiac structure and function. Accurate diagnosis requires detection of both a thickened pericardium and abnormal ventricular diastolic filling. At present, no one diagnostic technique has demonstrated sufficient accuracy in this setting. Cine computed tomography is a relatively new cardiac imaging mode with very high time and spatial resolution that has the potential to accurately diagnose constrictive pericarditis.
Methods. Twelve consecutive patients were retrospectively identified who had catheterization findings suggestive of constrictive physiology, had undergone a cine computed tomographic examination and had pathologic data that delineated the status of the pericardium. Group 1 (with constrictive pericarditis; n = 5) had surgical confirmation of thickened pericardium and improved clinically after pericardiectomy. Group 2 (no constrictive pericarditis; n = 7) had cardiomyopathy with normal pericardium. Seven normal volunteers (Group 3) were also studied. Cine computed tomograms were obtained for the entire heart (8-mm slices, 17 frames/s, nonionic contrast medium). Pericardial thickness was measured at 10 ° intervals at three ventricular levels in each subject. The rapidity of diastolic filling was assessed by calculating the percent filling fraction in early diastole.
Results. Pericardial thickness was 10 ± 2 mm (mean ± SD) in Group 1, 2 ± 1 mm in Group 2 and 1 ± 1 mm in Group 3 (p < 0.05, constrictive pericarditis vs. no constrictive pericarditis). Left ventricular filling fraction was 83 ± 6% in Group 1, 62 ± 9% in Group 2 and 44 ± 5% in Group 3. Right ventricular filling fraction was 93 ± 5% in Group 1, 62 ± 14% in Group 2 and 35 ± 6% in Group 3 (p < 0.05, Group 1 vs. Groups 2 and 3). Both indexes provided a clear-cut distinction between patients with and without constriction.
Conclusions. Cine computed tomography simultaneously provides both anatomic and physiologic data that allow accurate preoperative diagnosis of pericardial constriction.
☆ This study was supported by Veterans Affairs Career Development Award and Research Training Grant HL 07121 from the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland (Dr. Oren) and Grant IA 89-G12 from the American Heart Association, Iowa Affiliate, Des Moines, Iowa (Dr. Grover-McKay).
- Received June 16, 1992.
- Revision received February 22, 1993.
- Accepted February 24, 1993.